Valve owe you 44 quid, according to a £656m lawsuit against the company for allegedly overcharging UK customers

In what is possibly the biggest scandal the UK has seen since the last time the price of Freddos went up, a digital rights campaigner is suing Valve for £656m in compensation, accusing the company of overcharging and anti-competitive behaviour. The accompanying website describes the collective action claim as a “ground-breaking legal action,” which is very gamer of them. 16 times the litigation, etc.

“Valve Corporation faces a £656 million collective action claim for overcharging 14 million PC gamers and abusing its dominant position in the UK,” reads the website. “We believe Valve Corporation has been unfairly shutting out competition for PC games and in-game content, which has meant that UK customers have paid too much for these products,” it continues, also accusing the “gaming giant” of “charging an excessive commission – of up to 30% – to publishers.”

If the claim is successful, then you – yes, you! – could be eligible for up to £44 in compensation, if you’re based in the UK and have bought either a game or “add-on game content” since the 5th of June 2018. The total £656 million appears to come from the 14 million UK based PC gamers the website alleges “could” have been overcharged by Valve. Here’s a look at the ‘key stats’ on the site. Cowardly move not to go full hog and make it look like an RPG character sheet, honestly.

A screenshot from the steamyouoweus website
Image credit: steamyouoweus

This is all being headed up by digital-rights activist Vicki Shotbolt and legal firm Milberg London LLP. The firm were also involved in a £5bn lawsuit against Sony in 2022, who they alleged “ripped people off” by charging a 30% commission on PlayStation Store purchases. Valve themselves faced a similar antitrust class action legal-me-doo in 2021, though that appears to have gone nowhere.

As both Eurogamer and the website’s FAQ point out, this current story could take years before anything more of note happens. Personally speaking, maybe there’s something in that 30% publisher commission being a touch high, but I’ve got no idea how much it realistically takes to keep something like Steam running.

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